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Scattershot: DU license plates, brook trout and lake sturgeon

NY releases DU license plates

Score one for the ducks. It has been more than a year since legislation was passed and signed by the governor to allow for Ducks Unlimited (DU) license plates. Supporters of wetlands conservation and waterfowl in New York can now order these special license plates through the Department of Motor Vehicles. DU is the world’s leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation and the ultimate benefactor of the plates. They are available for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

“These license plates are a wonderful tool to help spread the word about the conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited,” said Duane Arnister, New York’s state chairman for DU. The organization has a long history in the Empire State and there are currently more than 16,000 members in New York. DU has protected, restored and enhanced 54,000 acres here, investing some $37 million in wetlands conservation in its 80 year history. All told, the group has conserved more than 14 million acres

Motorists can order the new plates online at or through the state’s DMV. They can also be ordered by calling 518-402-4838 or via the mail. An order form is available at The standard plate can be purchased for an initial fee of $85. The annual fee is $56.25 (in addition to the standard registration renewal fee). The plate can be personalized with up to 6 characters (including spaces) for an initial fee of $116.25. The annual fee for a personalized plate is $87.50 (again, in addition to the standard registration renewal fee).

Brook trout featured at TU meeting

Brook trout is New York’s state fish. Find how this popular fish is doing in Western New York by attending the Oct. 31 meeting of the WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The group will be meeting at the Donovan American Legion Post at 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, starting at 7:30 p.m.  Featured speakers will be Scott Cornett of the Allegany Office of Region 9 DEC and Tom Hoffman of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  The title of the presentation will be “The State of Brook Trout in Western NY – Where they are and how they’re doing.”  It will include historic and current distribution, population conditions and threats, as well as recent genetics work and future plans to help protect and expand populations. The meeting is open to the public.

DEC seeks public comment on lake sturgeon plan

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released a Draft Lake Sturgeon Recovery Plan and the agency is now seeking public comment through Nov. 25, 2017. Goals of the recovery plan include restoring self-sustaining populations and ultimately removing the fish from the Threatened Species list by 2024. The plan may be accessed at

To provide comment, send an email to with “Lake Sturgeon” in the subject line or send a letter to Lisa Holst, Rare Fish Unit Leader, NYSDEC Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4753.

Lake sturgeons are the largest and longest lived of any freshwater fish species. Commercial fishing, dam building, habitat loss and pollution all contributed to the demise of these fish. They have been making a comeback in recent years. Search the DEC website for additional information on lake sturgeon.


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